Wednesday, May 8, 2013

MA - summer breeders slow to arrive 05/08

Gill - This morning I had the pleasure of surveying 'Blake Farm', our neighbor's property due east of the intersection of Mountain Road and Main Road in Gill. The plot consists of about 90 acres and incorporates a number of habitats including mixed woodland, field edges, small wetlands and vernal pools, early successional and several 'blow-downs', as well as the family homestead.

Over the course of four hours I tallied 228 individuals of 48 bird species. Many of these were potential breeders and there was very little evidence of any migration through the site today. Although I recorded a few 'firsts of the year' such as Wood Thrush, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Great Crested Flycatcher, Red-eyed Vireo and Rose-breasted Grosbeak, it became clear that many expected summer breeders have yet to arrive including most of the warblers and ALL the empidonax flycatchers.

However, some of the earlier arrivals seemed to be well established already with nice totals of Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (11), Black-throated Green Warbler (7), Pine Warbler (8), Ovenbird (8), Common Yellowthroat (7), Eastern Towhee (4) and Baltimore Oriole (4). Personal highlights included great views of Winter Wren (3) and Louisiana Waterthrush (1). I also managed to obtain reasonable sound recordings of both of the latter species.

The whole survey was 'human-powered' as I biked into the site from home and then walked a couple of miles around the plot. This was the first of about half-a-dozen planned surveys within this plot which I hope to carry out on a near-weekly basis through late spring into early summer.

All images were taken using a Canon Powershot G10 on May 8th, 2013
 at 'Blake Farm', Gill, Franklin Co., MA. 

Common Yellowthroat - male.

Ovenbird - about 8 singing males seen and heard today.

Louisiana Waterthrush - the only waterthrush seen today
 but a bold male often singing from completely exposed song posts.

Winter Wren - one of three singing males.

Eastern Towhee - male

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